Boolify Yourself  

The other day I wrote about a report that indicates young people are not able to conduct effective web searches or think critically about the information they're finding online. I also indicated that I didn't think adults were doing a much better job with these skills. So I was pleased to stumble across this neat little site--The Boolify Project:

Boolify makes it easier to for students to understand their web search by illustrating the logic of their search, and by showing them how each change to their search instantly changes their results.

It includes a nifty java script "game board" that lets you play around with various boolean search terms to get a more visual sense of how search works. Below, you can see where I constructed a search for "work literacy" and the search results that were returned. Note that I could have also done a search just on news or images.

As I play with the different operators, I can also see how that impacts the number of items that get returned. You're able to save searches and erase the game board to start over.There are also links to supporting curriculum resources and videos. Although geared toward elementary and middle schoolers, this is actually a fun way for adults to play around with basic boolean search operators, which, I might add, are a mystery to many people I know. Of course, if you're more advanced, these 12 tips offer some additional search strategies. Who knew that you could use Google search as a calculator?